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UK eases visa regulations for Emiratis from January 1

Dubai, Dec 10 (): From January 1, 2014, Emiratis can travel to the United Kingdom with an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) document, which allows them to visit the country for up to six months without a visa. The online application for the document must be made at least 48 hours before they get on their journey.

The EVW is valid only for a single entry to the UK on the date and time stated. The biographical details on the EVW document must exactly match with the passport of the holder.

The UK is the second most visited place by citizens of the UAE, with the number of visits doubling in the last 10 years. Applications for visas from UAE are increasing year on year and the number of visas given out in 2012 from the UAE is 30,148, a growth by 43 per cent (from September 2012 to September 2013).

The introduction of the service will permit Emiratis to apply for an EVW online and free of charge without having to go to a visa application centre or hand in passports prior to travel.

The document is given out via a secure website and can be got online from anyplace in the world to travel to the UK.

What they have to do is to complete their EVW online at least 48 hours before departure and present a printed copy on departure and again on arrival in the UK. With the easing of the visa scheme for Gulf nationals, more UAE visitors are expected to visit the UK.

However, UAE passport holders coming to the UK to work or study or visit the UK for longer than six months will still need to apply for visas in the normal way, they cannot travel on an EVW document.

Ambassador Dominic Jermey said this is the first time the United Kingdom has ever introduced this type of scheme and this is a very exciting improvement for them, he said, which strengthens even further the appeal of the UK to Emirati tourists, investors and business partners.